The Friends of the Greenway and the Piscataquog River Local Advisory Committee (PRLAC) today announced that the Goffstown Rail Trail has been selected to receive technical assistance from the Rivers & Trails Program of the National Park Service.
The project was selected from the most competitive field of requests ever received by the agency. The rail trail, also known locally as the Greenway, follows the former B&M Railroad corridor through Goffstown for approximately 5.5 miles. It starts near Main Street in Goffstown village, and travels through Grasmere and Pinardville, to the Manchester line. The trail runs nearly parallel to the Piscataquog River, connecting community facilities, neighborhoods, and natural areas along the way.
During the next 12 months, John Monroe will assist the Friends of the Greenway and the PRLAC as they reach out to the community, make initial trail improvements, hold public events and raise funding for development.
Monroe is an Outdoor Recreation Planner, based in Boston, with 15 years of experience helping local groups to implement great ideas for trails, parks and greenways. “I am delighted to work with Goffstown on this rail trail. It is remarkable how the corridor connects the village with neighborhoods, lovely countryside and the City of Manchester.”
The town of Goffstown purchased the railroad right-of-way in 2004 for use as a non-motorized trail. Shortly afterward, the PRLAC sponsored a trail design charrette. Beginning even before the purchase was finalized, the Friends of the Greenway and PRLAC, assisted by several other local groups, have conducted several trail cleanups and work days.
Lowell Von Ruden heads up the Friends of the Greenway, a local rail trail advocacy and volunteer group formed several years ago. “It will be a great benefit in these early stages of trail development to have this assistance from professionals experienced in the development of other trails.”
The Piscataquog River is a “Designated River” under the state’s River Management Program. The PRLAC, made up of appointees from the municipalities bordering the river, encourages projects that protect the river and enhance its usefulness to those communities. “The Greenway is exactly the kind of recreational use we like to see along the river – people-powered, community based, and helping to raise people’s awareness of the river” said Dick Ludders, head of the PRLAC.
Through the Rivers & Trails Program (RTCA), the National Park Service helps communities and neighborhoods to conserve local natural resources, protect rivers, develop trails and greenways and promote open space. Projects are locally conceived and initiated with Rivers & Trails staff in a supporting role to local leaders.
This year, Rivers & Trails staff selected 41 projects in the Northeast, spanning 14 states from Maine to the Mid-Atlantic. In 2005, Rivers & Trails staff helped build nearly 220 new miles of bike and walking trails, created or restored more than 400 miles of river trails, and leveraged nearly $100 million for project planning and construction.
For more information on the National Park Service and the Rivers & Trails Program, please visit www.nps.gov/rtca.
For more information on the Friends of the Greenway and the Goffstown Rail Trail, please visit www.goffstownrailtrail.org.